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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Christmas 90

Dear friends:

Family. Stephanie and her friend Alison finished a year of college, stayed with Alison's folks in New Hampshire this summer, returned to St. Louis this fall, stayed with us a couple of months, are holding down two jobs a piece, and have just moved into their own apartment. Stephen is selling nutritional products for two companies, Lite Force and Matol, editing dissertations and will teach an occasional class. Mom and dad are both in pretty good shape this year after they both won bouts with cancer. Their good friends, Bob and Mary West, have returned to Marietta after many years in St. Louis. My sister's oldest son, Jeff, was a top linebacker in the state of Ohio this fall.

Friends near. Stephen and I regularly see Sheila Dugan and her daughter, Kate. Each Wednesday, we have been holding a Course in Miracles group in our home. Charlie Watts and Jan Dunlap, also members of Trinity, attend this group. We especially appreciate the friendship of Steve Turner and Bill Mayhan, both in higher education and members of Trinity Episcopal, like Stephen and me. We also have developed a growing list of friends at church.

Friends far. I was extremely hard hit by the death of Tom Manuel, my editor friend from New York City, on Valentine's Day. I had much contact with the old high school gang; Willard Lutz visited us early in the year, I visited Dee and Kay and their family in Columbia, SC on Mother's Day, and I stayed a week with Mariam Edgar in Thousand Oaks, CA this fall. We had Myra and Walter Kendall over, and they brought Myra's mother, Mary, whom I hadn't seen in thirty years. What a treat! I went to Marietta for Independence Day, and got together with Dee, his two daughters Joy and Sarah, and Dee's mom, dad, and his brother's family. Mary Alice Breiter, from Ohio State Days, whose son is attending Wash. U., brought sweet rolls for breakfast one morning.

Music. My own songs are regularly getting a hearing. I performed twice for the Earth Day Celebration in Jacksonville, IL, including the opening song and twice for the Prairie Green Annual Conference. I regularly perform at the First Church of Religious Science and occasionally at my own church, Trinity Episcopal. This year, the choir director conmmissioned me to write a song for our Jesse Tree celebration, and it was performed and extremely well received on December 9.

Work. It seems as though I've been working hard the entire year. I was called back from my sabbatical last winter to begin the installation of a new computer lab complex for my building. We are just beginning to get things organized and running smoothly after nearly a year. In addition, I have been writing software in two research projects, teaching a course each quarter, and retraining our faculty in the new lab(s).

Vacations. Mariam and I visited San Diego and the Del Coronado Hotel. Stephen and I had our usual week in Michigan. Besides a stay at Saugatuk, this year's highlight was a trip to Beaver Island, two hours by boat from Charlevoix. We bicycled around this rustic island and met Dorothy and Henry Kraus, international experts on medievial art, who were staying at our bed and breakfast place. Stephen visited his mother and sisters in Oregon for a week.

Church. Stephen sings in the choir, we usher, and now I am a sacristan, that is, a person on the altar guild. I'm learning a lot more about the service now that I have to help prepare it behind the scenes. We also had a wonderful church retreat this November at a beautiful state park, and are sponsoring Joe and Chuck, two candidates for confirmation.

All in all, it has been an eventful, challenging year of relatively good health, much hard work and love, learning and sharing. May we wish you the very happiest Christmas and fortunate New year.

Best regards,
Jim and Stephen